United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
MARILYN L. HUFF, District Judge.
24, 2017, Defendants Allmax Nutrition, Inc. and HBS
International Corp. filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff
Natural Alternatives International, Inc.'s second amended
complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. (Doc. No. 69.) On
August 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed an opposition to
Defendants' motion. (Doc. No. 72.) On August 30, 2017,
Defendants filed a reply. (Doc. No. 74.) The Court, pursuant
to its discretion under Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1),
determines the matter to be appropriate for resolution
without oral argument, submits it on the parties' papers,
and vacates the motion hearing. For the reasons below, the
Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants'
motion to dismiss.
following facts are taken from the allegations in
Plaintiff's second amended complaint. Plaintiff NAI is a
formulator, manufacturer, marketer, and supplier of
nutritional supplements. (Doc. No. 66, SAC ¶ 11.)
Plaintiff sells its branded CarnoSyn® beta-alanine
product to customers throughout the United States and in
other countries. (Id. ¶ 1.) Plaintiff alleges
that its CarnoSyn® product is covered by a portfolio of
trademark, copyright, and patent rights. (Id.)
alleges that Defendants Allmax and HBS offer to sell and sell
dietary supplements containing beta-alanine in the United
States, including through retailers located in California.
(Id. ¶¶ 1, 8-9, 27-31.) Plaintiff alleges
that these acts constitute trademark, copyright, and patent
infringement. (Id. ¶¶ 88-130.)
8, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant
Allmax, alleging claims for: (1) violation of the Lanham Act
§ 32; (2) copyright infringement; and (3) patent
infringement. (Doc. No 1.) On October 13, 2016, Defendant
Allmax filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint
for lack of personal jurisdiction. (Doc. No. 9.) In response
to Allmax's motion to dismiss, on October 19, 2016,
Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint adding HBS as an
additional defendant, alleging the same causes of action as
in the original complaint, and adding a claim for civil
conspiracy. (Doc. No. 11.) In light of Plaintiff's first
amended complaint, on October 20, 2016, the Court denied
Defendant Allmax's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's
original complaint as moot. (Doc. No. 13.)
November 16, 2016, Defendant Allmax filed a motion to dismiss
Plaintiff's first amended complaint for lack of personal
jurisdiction. (Doc. No. 18.) On February 21, 2017, the Court
denied Allmax's motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction. (Doc. No. 32.) On March 14, 2017, Defendant
Allmax filed counterclaims and an answer to Plaintiff's
first amended complaint. (Doc. No. 33.)
April 25, 2017, Defendant Allmax filed a motion for judgment
on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(c), and Defendant HBS filed a motion to dismiss pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Doc. Nos. 43,
44.) On June 26, 2017, the Court granted the Defendants'
motions and granted Plaintiff partial leave to file a second
amended complaint. (Doc. No. 64.) In the order, the Court
specifically dismissed Plaintiff's claim for patent
infringement with prejudice and dismissed Plaintiff's
trademark infringement claim and its civil conspiracy claim
without prejudice and with leave to amend. (Id. at
23.) The Court subsequently denied Plaintiff's motion for
reconsideration of that order. (Doc. No. 73.)
10, 2017, Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint against
Defendants, alleging claims for: (1) violation of the Lanham
Act § 32; (2) violation of the Lanham Act § 43(a);
(3) common law trademark infringement; (4) copyright
infringement; (5) patent infringement; and (6) civil
conspiracy. (Doc. No. 66, SAC ¶¶ 88-138.) By the
present motion, Defendants move pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss Plaintiff's claims
for trademark infringement, civil conspiracy, and patent
infringement for failure to state a claim. (Doc. No. 69-1 at
Legal Standards for a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to
patent cases, a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is governed by the applicable law of
the regional circuit. K-Tech Telecommunications, Inc. v.
Time Warner Cable, Inc., 714 F.3d 1277, 1282 (Fed. Cir.
2013). A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the
pleadings and allows a court to dismiss a complaint if the
plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. See Conservation Force v. Salazar, 646
F.3d 1240, 1241 (9th Cir. 2011). Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a)(2) requires that a pleading stating a claim
for relief contain “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
The function of this pleading requirement is to “give
the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
complaint will survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss if
it contains “enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Accordingly, dismissal
for failure to state a claim is proper where the claim
“lacks a cognizable legal theory or sufficient facts to
support a cognizable legal theory.” Mendiondo v.
Centinela Hosp. Med. Ctr., 521 F.3d 1097, 1104 (9th Cir.
reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a district court
must accept as true all facts alleged in the complaint, and
draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.
See Retail Prop. Trust v. United Bhd. of Carpenters &
Joiners of Am., 768 F.3d 938, 945 (9th Cir. 2014). But,
a court need not accept “legal conclusions” as
true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Further, it is
improper for a court to assume the plaintiff “can prove
facts which it has not alleged or that the defendants have
violated the . . . laws in ways ...